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The Screaming Sky - DM Downrightamazed

Game Master downrightamazed

"A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now." -- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow


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Vehicles are fueled, weapons prepped. Colonel Sobucek's team is a seasoned unit and they have you in the sky in no time; a pair of Sabretooth short-range transports blasting across the night sky towards the warehouse district, each one carrying an Engel, and one carrying Devereux as an additional passenger in the hold.

At the same time, a cathedral-sized Mastodon lumbers east, slowly picking up speed until it gets to its full cruising speed and altitude, laden with mech, armor, and Engel, the pilots of each marking time in the prep cabin.

It begins.


@Kyra, @Cythery, @Dev: The Sabretooths devour the short distance between The Hive and the city, screaming across the sky and entering Abeche's airspace in no time. The pilots keep up a steady chatter with local NEG air traffic control, coordinating their position.

One of the pilot's voices comes over your comms; "Heads up, folks, you have three fliers and three on land. All bioforms, but all interdimensional. Insertion point will be a rail yard 100 meters north. Good luck!"

The sabretooths drop you in the rail yard from low altitude, hovering so Dev can rappel down. Once on the ground, the Engels immediately growl in pleasure at the anticipation of battle. As the Sabretooths fly away, Czerny's voice comes over your commlink.

"Okay, here's the story; in addition to whatever's big, the fliers and shamblers, there is some kind of conflagration in a warehouse 80 meters southeast of your current position. Lots of small-arms fire and explosions. Law enforcement has fallen back to a perimeter position and has also been apprised of your approach. They think you're NEG, so play along. Civilian interference is nonexistent right now, thankfully."

Looking south, you see a pair of winged shadows perched on buildings, looking intently at your position, or near it; it's not at all clear whether or not they can see you. You definitely hear the echo-y chatter of submachine guns in the near distance.


@John, @Winston, @Alastair: Soldiers generally fall into one of two camps when it comes to the roar of the engines of a Mastodon-class heavy transport. Many think of the engine as a perpetual pre-battle "om", a pleasing and reassuring rumble, a tone on which to focus and center their energies and clear their minds, drowning out any external stimuli.

However, others are not reassured by the sound at all, but view it is a ceaseless reminder of what they are heading into, of the carnage and death and terror into which they are about to be dropped. Any change in frequency or volume brings a drop of the stomach and a shake in the hands; oh dear god, what's happning now? are we hit? oh god. oh god.

The drone of the giant D-engine cluster of your transport is steady and seamless the entirety of your journey; a good sign, as it indicates no evasive actions or attacks. You have no fighter escort for this, just the ship flying NOE and as cloaked as it can manage.

After five hours thirty minutes, the pilot's voice rings over the comm in the prep room; "Approaching drop site, lady and gentlemen. We'll be leaving you on the outskirts of a ghost town 20 minutes from shore, letting you make your way in from there. We're seeing just enough Dagonite activity to make us think twice about getting closer. We'll drop outside the town and ghillie the ship to wait for your return."

Sure enough, just a short bit later the engine tone changes and you feel yourselves slowly descending. The landing cycle completes, the mecha and Ranger are freed, and you are on your own.

Czerny's voice comes over your comms. "Okay, folks, I've gotcha on scan, but it's tenuous; I'm depending on weak satellite and drone coverage. Let's hope it stays together. I'm showing nomads in the town your currently in, and more in the seaside village 20 minutes east. Bridges to the island are intact, enemies are moving, but all still north and east. Keep alert all the same."

The road you are on is broken and ravaged by heat and disuse, but the ranger can traverse it with relative ease. The sky is bruise-colored and unpleasant, and there is a faint maggot-colored glow in the area by the island. The town whose outskirts you are currently haunting looks like Pripyat's desert cousin, all broken and leaning buildings and shattered glass and split cement. The air is thick with a palpable dread and rot.


John is looking a little haggard from the lack of sleep, but instead of resting once the flight is underway he asks not to be disturbed while he works. He marks off a portion of the deck several meters on a side where he will be out of the way of the crew and with practiced efficiency sets to constructing a ritual circle. The smell of burning incense, the sound of monotonous chanting, and the high pitched chime of a small bell would occasionally intrude on those nearby but other than that John's work is really rather dull.

He's conscious of the risk he's taking, and nervously anticipates the racing of the engines that will throw the deck aslant and send him scrambling to control unknowable energies... luckily it never comes. The ritual finishes in the last hour of the flight, and John settles back in to his suit for the tense wait to the drop site.

Once they arrive he tells the suit's AI to begin a full scan of their surroundings and goes over the imagery while they prepare to get underway.

Observation check: 10 + 3d10 + 10 ⇒ (1, 1, 4) + 10 = 16 = critical failure

John's been out of the field long enough that he knows it would be a bad idea for him to lead this part of the mission. I think Alastair should handle the tactical leadership at this point.


The Ranger's comms hisses with static, faint crackles of whatever electromagnetic discharge into the air bleeding through the encryption like the sibilant whispers of an angry god...

"John...? Can you hear me?" She taps the side of her helmet comm again, the murmuring static dissolving for a moment, then returning as an ever present annoyance.

"Be careful out there... the fishies may be bad shots but the hybrids that pilot the mecha aren't. Saber's a tough little mech for its size but catching fire from a Hydra or Leviathan will ruin your day pretty quick."

"Good hunting."


"Sensors aren't picking up squat? See anything?" He chooses to forgo internal comms and the river of static in favor of raising his voice to make himself heard over the low drone of the D-Cell engine

"Jack and squat, Winston. Jack and squat."

"Thanks, 'Fix."

He toggles his comms to a general frequency. "D.B., this is Gatecrash. Zero-Three is standing by. Lead the way."

----------------------

@ Alastair Cadwallader: On your lead Zero-Leader.

@ DM Downrightamazed: Winston's going to be keeping a close eye on his sensor scans when we move out. Going to take regular active sensor sweeps with both Radar/X-Ray. Here's a set of blind rolls for Observation at Student. Apply as and when necessary.

Perception (8) + Observation (Student)

Spoiler:
10d10 ⇒ (6, 10, 5, 8, 9, 8, 3, 10, 10, 4) = 73


Male Nazzadi Sergeant Major

Devereux taps his commlink, 'I'm going to scout out ahead, I'll stay within communication range.'

He finds a dark corner and sheds his clothes and gun, the transition getting easier every time, OK, you're up big guy.

The voice that Kyra and Cythery hears still causes them to blink, [b]'We will stay within 400' of you in constant contact.'[b]

Advancing towards the warehouse he instinctivly stays within the shadows, constantly scanning for signs of life.

Any life he spots he uses his Scan ability on, works within 100 yards.


Alastair spent the flight quietly napping, lulled to sleep by the drowning of the engines. The sound of the engines was comforting to him as he had flown in more combat sorties then he cared to remember and with each era warfare became more advanced. At least the engines got quieter over time. Nothing like the B-17 or B-52 engine. Prior to landing he opened his eyes and readied himself for the task ahead, he was going in with team members he wasn't used to and they were about to see another side of him. Hopefully he didn't lose it this time...

Valk was kneeling on one leg and her chest cavity was open, he could almost feel her calling him. No time to think, just do. He climbed up onto her hand and allowed her to lift him up to the cavity and he easily climbed in. As the chest cavity sealed in front of him he crossed his arms and waited for what came next.

When the chest finally sealed in front him, the odd sound of flesh stitching back together, he felt the warm fluids fill the cavity and swiftly engulfing him from all sides. Everything was dark inside the control capsule, the walls pulsed with the alien life that made up his Engel and all he could was wait for the link to engage. Here we go...

Inside the Control Capsule:
Unlike many he wasn't unnerved with the thought of being inside something organic, the walls pulsing around him was comforting or that he was about to connect to its nervous system by attaching it to his own. This was the strange symbiotic relationship between Engel's and their pilots, despite his apprehension this was the part that he enjoyed most. As the liquid reached his neck he took a deep breath and focused his mind, searching for her presence.

It wasn't long before she emerged though, like a shadow she arose in the back of his mind and with little warning came surging forward in a rush of Joy and Pleasure. It felt almost as if he was in the firm embrace of a lover, eager to have him withing their embrace. Before Valk's presence could overwhelm him their came a sharp sensation, it probably felt like a slap in the face to her. A stinging reminder of the safeguards that had been put in place to ensure a pilot wasn't overwhelmed by their Engel.

Valk's onrushing emotion pulled back, like he had rebuked her, but nothing could deter her for long. Now the embrace wasn't as intense, more like she was leaning against his back now, whispering sweet nothings in his ear. Although he could never understand her, her mind was too alien. At least for now. But she had discovered a way to communicate, through memories and emotions she plucked from his mind to communicate. It was like reliving the many decades of his life as she reminded him of every painful detail, no matter how minute, eager to dredge up the most forgotten memories to make her point known and to learn. What he hated most though was the form she chose while they were connected, it was nothing like Dev's form. No, it was far more personal, a reminder of his failure, it was the one he'd loved in days long past. The days when law was ruled by the gun.

It was only here that he could see it, sometimes it lingered long after they were separated.

::Fro cu ybbnarahceja? Ryja oui druikrd ypuid ed? Fa luimt tu cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu silr~ Bufan, Cdahkdr, Kutruut...::

Alastair shook from the overwhelming sensations that Valk tortured him with before he could react and crush her back down. :Your mistaken... No, it won't happen, not ever.... Be quiet and focus, we have work to do.:

She was immediately quieter, but no less distracting as she traced her fingers along his neck and back while he tried to focus on cycling through the systems. Eventually though the feelings and sensations faded until there was nothing more then him and valk. One and the same, connected on levels no one could imagine and before he knew it the world became so much smaller yet infinitely more diverse. Lets rock there world.

He became aware of someone calling him, a crackling of a comm in his mind. The voice was familiar, Winston... John... Chelsea... What did he say... Zero-Leader... that will take some getting used to. He was kneeling, it was time to move out. He stood easily, gracefully, towering over the soldiers that had accompanied them as he quickly made hs way out of the Mastodon. {Valkyrie is online.} he started cycling through each system, themal, radar, targeting, nightvision, advanced hearing systems and weapon systems were all operating normally. While he was inside Valkyrie he was inhumanly fast, near superhuman and he couldn't help but flex his fingers and stretch his muscles. (Agility and Str 11 inside Valkyrie, Alastair is really fast now! :D ) {System verification complete, Zero-Leader beginning full range scan and powering up weapons. Lock and Load, Zero-Three picking up any traces? Zero-Father what are you seeing?}

As he strutted into the ghost town his twin barrels started to glow menacingly as he prepared to bring the pain to the Dagonites.

Observation - Radar 5 mile radius, Scan 100 yards 3d10 ⇒ (10, 3, 2) = 15 10 + 9 = 19

As his scans started to bare fruit he smiled. Show time, To War once again.


There was a certain dream-like quality to Alastair's response that set him on the edge, a synthetic computer like quality to decoded brain waves distilled back into normal speech and forced through speakers where a human mouth would normally be.

"Zero-Leader, Zero-Three. It's real quiet down here... I think we can call it clear..."

He gave the area another cursory sweep, flashing a momentary pulse of active radar.

"Going Ghost. I'll keep you informed if I spot something Zero-Leader. Zero-Three Out."

He taps a toggle key, feeling the low hum of the D-Engine rise a tempo as the dimensional-engine tore more energy from whatever alien principle it relied on for power, sending it cascading into the cuttlefish system, the cloaking device greedily soaking up the offerings and parceling it out to a myriad array of subsystems.

The Ranger shimmers momentarily as reality fades, the vehicle's hull rippling in the air and then the multi-ton war machine is gone, disappearing completely from view.


Valkyrie's head jerked, causing the whole Engel to shake momentarily. After a moment it cracked its powerful neck in a human fashion and rolled its shoulders as it stretched its stiff muscles. The only confirmation Winstons transmission was received was the short nod it gave his ranger. As Winston's Ranger vanished, Valkyrie stood ready to move forward at a moments notice.


Kyra climbs into Azrael's cockpit on the way to the city he remembers the very first time he piloted Azrael like he does everytime. It was both frightening and exhilarating having something so strong and proud, with a terrible fury in his mind.

When he hooks into Azrael's nervous system he always imagined it was like being reborn as this gigantic creature. It's almost depressing when you leave because you feel like you've gotten weaker, and slower. His musing are interrupted when he hears Dev talk into his mind again. Allright Shade we'll wait on your report. Ravens my love are you ready my love?" Kyra asks as Azrael turns his head looking around for anything to attack. Kyra cycles through all of Azrael weapon systems and visuals.


John felt... dwarfed. Even in his own suit of powered armor, it was strange going into battle next to war machines for which he was a tripping hazard or speed bump, respectively.

"Zero-Team, Zero-Father. I have some sensor glitches here, give me a minute to reinitialize the system before we get underway. Are we going through the town or around it?"

I was waiting to see whether the critical failure on sensors had any particular effect before posting further, but I'm fine with pressing forward.


Valkyrie stood still as a statue untouched by the blistering heat, in fact it was soaking it in. Freeing up stiff muscles and raising his need to unleash upon the enemy, if only they weren't so far...

:Focus, only the mission matters, victory or death that is all that matters. We cannot leave without the artifact.: He ran the information through his mind as he tried to formulate a strategy, they were at half strength and the enemy was on the move. Bridges intact, good. The enemies movements made him want to move faster, but caution was needed or else the element of surprise was lost.

When Valkyrie started stepping forward, it was so graceful that it belaid the monstrous speed that the behemoth was capable of. She strolled forward, exercising her cannons and playing with her tentacles. {Zero-Team, I will take lead, follow at medium distance and prepare for a parthian shot. Heading November and tracing Echo. Keep your heads on a swivel, smooth out glitches and move out.}

He pushed the pace, moving towards the closest bridge to where the enemy was currently on the move. He tried to get coordinates for the second nearest bridge, just in case they had the first bridge wired to blow. They had to keep an open route of movement for Winston and his Ranger.

Same here, but DRA will update us in due course and give us the low down on our rolls and such. He's awesome at that. :)


"EmCon protocols up and running. Lets roll."

Slowly, he eased the throttle up, feeling the lurching catch as the driveshaft caught, and lurched the vehicle out of inertia and into motion.

"'Fix. Turning skywatch over to you. Call 'em as you see 'em."

He toggled comm frequencies.

"On your right flank Zero-Leader. Don't trip." He throttled the Ranger into a comfortable cruise, swinging into a trailing position behind the Engel.


Eritrea Team: John continues to have difficulty with his scanners. Whatever rustiness he is experiencing apparently affected him worse than he thought as now he has to stop periodically to unjam some other glitch in his sensor array. He's able to move forward, but things could get ugly if one of these failures occurs at a less opportune time.

The three of you move forward through the ghost town. The nomadic denizens of this place stay hidden, but of course show up on radar, IR, etc. There are not many of them, and none show themselves as you make your way past.

The open road to the coastal town -- whose name you still don't know -- is a bit more harrying as you are completely exposed. What little vegetation is around is stunted and blasted and defoliated. You see more than a few ragged lumps on the ground that upon zoom-enhanced inspection reveal themselves to be very old corpses. Brownish smears on tree bark and rocks are most likely blood.

The Dagonites remain underwater; no scan reveals them anywhere else, yet, except on the northern tip of the island or too deep to be detected.

You are just entering the outskirts of the coastal city when a heat trail shows up, bursting forth from a low building that looks like it might have been a curry shop once upon a time. It is a very, very pregnant woman and she is running at John's mecha, full-tilt, screaming something in Arabic. She seems quite determined and is making a huge racket. You all have multiple locks on dozens of other heat sources and sure enough, a bunch of malnourished and haunted-looking citizens poke their heads out windows and doors to watch what's happening.

I'm just kind of aggregating all your scanner rolls into the above observations. I'm not gonna be rude and drop something on you; I know you guys are all on high alert, plus of course you have Colonel Sobucek on overwatch right now.


Warehouse District Team: Cythery and Kyra hold position as Dev pushes forward. He finds the shadows to be impossibly exhilarating now, and sticking to them is very easy. Indeed, it's all he wants to do. As the Tager vanishes into the night, the two engel pilots take time to finish preparations.

@Devereux You slide through the darkness and eventually come upon the perimeter established by local law enforcement. They are utterly unaware of your presence. Scanning around, you see there are a few dead bodies in the bare blacktop between the perimeter and the warehouse it surrounds, and then a half-dozen armed humans and nazzadi, all with machine guns and other small arms, guarding the one door you can see on this side of the warehouse. From inside the warehouse...from inside you can smell fear, and detect multiple humanoids and dhoanoids. Things are quiet at the moment. Perhaps an impasse has been reached? Hostages taken? You would have to get in the warehouse to find out.

One thing is for sure, two massive, horrifying winged things sit atop adjacent buildings, obviously the shapes you saw earlier. Each one has to be 20' tall. They are obscured by the heavy shadows thrown by the searchlights. The thought occurs to you; Why are they so still?

Devereux, any further movement from here in towards the warehouse is gonna require stealth checks (or invisibility) if you still wish to avoid being spotted.

Suddenly there is a creaking noise, and a loud voice from somewhere in the near distance yells "LOOK THE F&$& OUT! LOOK OUT!" There is a bizarre and otherworldly scream, and a car is flung through the open from behind a stack of containers and out towards the cops. They have plenty of time to dodge, but in the chaos the two winged things lift off up into the night and make a beeline for where Kyra and Cythery are waiting.

You recognize the things as they fly over; Shantaks. You only have a split-second to think about it before a giant, horrid, thick-armed and blue-skinned thing lumbers into view, preparing to throw another car. It is a Shabus Morgo, and several cops soil themselves as soon as it comes into view. One cop drops his gun and runs, another gets down on the ground and goes fetal. A third begins babbling, crying for his mother over and over again in a ceaseless miserable keen.

You catch a serpentine silhouette through a high window in the warehouse, where the office would be. It's just a bare glimpse, but it's enough to support what your scans revealed, namely dhoanoids in the warehouse.

Apparently the Rapine Storm has come to Africa...

Dev I need two DC16 Fear tests, please. I think you get a +4 to those rolls on top of other bonuses while in Symbiont form, yeah?

@Kyra and @Cythery: You suddenly have two flying objects coming in quickly, not far from where Dev went. Too far to get a positive ID lock, yet. You'd need to get airborne.


"Zero-Three to Zero-Team-Actual. You seeing what we're seeing?"

Winston patches an external camera feed over the general frequency.

The feed from the turret cam showed Airfix methodically tracking the approaching woman with the Ranger's railgun mount. The distaste at her own actions was clearly written across her face, but the 172nd had lost enough of its own to "non-combatants" to warrant the draconian precautions.

"We've got local contact. Bleeding heart says we stop, but gut says we just keep rolling on by. I tend to side with the gut on this one but it's your call Zero-Leader."


Eritrea Team:

Anyone who speaks Arabic:
The woman is screaming "Please stop, please, they did this to me. Kill me, kill my baby. Please, it is an abomination against God. I do not want to go to hell. Please! I beg you! Kill me! Kill us all!

As she continues to run, you all suddenly get movement on radar. Something's happening in one of the taller buildings 80 meters off to the right. Looks like it used to be a high-rise, but is now basically a sky-ghetto. You don't have a visual, but something's moving up there for sure. Heat trace is supernormal. Not quite human, but also not not human.

"That's not good." Offers Czerny. "Could be a Hybrid, which means Deep Ones are near. Zero Leader can you get there? We have to keep a lid on this as much as possible, we're not set up for toe-to-toe."


Chelsea shudders at the mention of hybrids. "Guys, a favor if you will..."

"If the Op somehow manages to go genuinely south, I'd appreciate it if someone spared a round or two to ensure that I'm well and truly dead." There is genuine revulsion in her voice, even over the tinny audio quality of the comms system.

"Thanks."


Thick streams of steam jet out from beneath the armor around Valkyries head, the thought of an enemy so close was exciting. Alastair didn't even realize that he was powering up the plasma cannon before he had to refocus to maintain control.

Inside The Control Capsule:
Valk's thoughts continued to pour through, mingling with his own. Confusing what he was truly thinking :Cu ayco, zicd mad ku... Yes... What... No... Mad ku... No... mad ku... No... We will engage but we will have control.: He was Zero-Leader he couldn't let her influence him and the hybrid was going to die by sword or flame.

The Plasma cannon remained fired up as he engaged his A-Pod's and activated the anti-grav functions. {Overwatch, Zero-Leader moving to engage, keep us updated. Zero-Team keep your eyes open and get a translator setup. We're going to need it.} As the A-Pods flared to life a low hum vibrated through Valk's entire being, feeling like goosebumps as he rose off the ground and quickly accelerated towards the high-rise. Sometimes it was hard not to feel like a god with all this power, but beneath the shell he was just a man.

He circled the high-rise, scanning for a target and keeping his plasma cannon charged and ready for action.


@Alastair: As your A-Pods lift you over the sightline of the roof's edge, you spot two humanoids -- both covered in feature-obscuring capes and hoods -- scrambling to assemble a bipod-mounted surface-to-air rocket launcher, one capable of piercing even engel armor.

A third is loading a flare gun.

"S%&%! Alastair, stop them!" Comes Czerny's alarmed voice.

Even the hyper-aware engel pilot is caught by surprise, though, as the rocket guys suddenly drop to one knee and fire! The RPG snakes through the air, right on target...

Hybrids' initiative:
Two guys at rocket launcher: 1d10 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Guy with flare gun: 1d10 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Alastair's initiative: 1d10 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13

Round 1, Initiative 15
Rocket Launcher guys declare one action; firing at Alastair, using 2 Drama Points; 4d10 ⇒ (9, 1, 9, 10) = 29 keep 9s, 18 + 7 = 25

Alastair, roll your dodge, please. DC25


Initiative test: 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8


Initiative = Reflex + 1d10 ⇒ 10 = 17


Dodge + AGI 11 4d10 ⇒ (4, 4, 10, 6) = 24 10 + 11 = 21

We aren't allowed to use Drama points to remove dice right, since all rolls are known?

Knowing he couldn't dodge in time Alastair twisted in the air, trying to bring an armored plate forward and minimize the damage as he prepared to strike back. As the blast knocked him around he brought his Plasma cannon to bare and shot off two expert shots at the guy with the flare gun. as both shots rocketed towards the unfortunate fool Alastair brought his charge cannon online and started raising it to aim at the pair with the rocket launcher.

Alastair Declares 2 Actions: Action 1 open fire on Flare Gun guy Marksman - (Engel Focus) 4d10 ⇒ (6, 7, 2, 7) = 22 7 + 7 + 8 - 2 = 20

Alastair Action 2 Marksman (Engel Focus) Fire again on Flare Guy- Engel Focus 4d10 ⇒ (2, 10, 9, 1) = 22 10 + 8 - 2 = 16

Spend 1 drama point to remove one of his dodge rolls :) since I don't know what hes gonna roll yet :)


Azrael quickly rises into the sky when the two incoming objects show up on scanners. "Cythery we've got two incoming targets get ready to light them up."

Kyra says as he moves into position to attack the unknown hostiles.. Once he reaches a close enough position he fires off the linked Laser cannons on Azrael's shoulders.

attack:4d10 + 8 ⇒ (1, 7, 3, 6) + 8 = 25 -2=19


I need initiative first, Kyra. :-)


1d10 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9 ouch... Drama point1d10 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18 better :-)


A breeding camp. He'd seen the imagery but never set foot in one. Even insulated from the city's oppressive heat and smell, something about the place's ambiance screamed of suffering and desperation. It had been a long time since John had been on a combat op, and at the woman's desperate plea he momentarily wishes he was fighting bugs (or Nadrazzi. Or the Chinese...). As far as he was concerned the mission now had a secondary objective; if time allowed they would survey the town, run bioscans for humans, and pass the intel up for a raid or recon-in-force.

He replied to the comm chatter while used the suit's AI to cobble together a few dictionaries for a crude real-time translation program, until they could get expert support. "It's not going to come to that 'fix... but yeah. You'd do the same for me."

Computers (12) check: (taking a 7) 6+7 = 13 success

Zero-Team, I've just about got that translation up-"

John's voice is replaced by an obviously synthesized female voice. The intonation of the translated words is flat, neutral, and and devoid of emotion. "please stop please this was done to me kill me kill my child please it is -- against Allah I do not want to go to hell please I beg you kill me kill us all"

He feels for her plight, but there was nothing that could be done for her or the others right now. If they had stumbled into a guarded camp instead of an abandoned city, their path to the island had just grown much more complicated...


"Dear Sweet Mother of God..." His mouth is suddenly dry, his voice a hoarse whisper.

He'd fought the Esoteric Order of Dagon before and he'd heard the stories... But there were palpable horrors of a Deep One Rape Camp that just could not be understood on an academic level. He stifled the urge to wretch as he realized what he was staring at...

"Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure
All hope abandon ye who enter here"

Some sick bastard with a sense of humor had taken the time to scrawl the words in crude graffiti across the walls of the abandoned buildings in thick black paint.

For a moment, he considered leveling the entire town and killing every inhabitant. It'd be doing them a favor...

The ripping sound of weapon fire tore him from his dark mood, the rising projectile arcing towards Alastair's Engel suddenly visible across the Ranger's 360 viewstrip.

"FLASH FLASH FLASH! D.B. GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!"


Male Nazzadi Sergeant Major

Initiative:1d10 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
I'll roll with invisibility, which requires an incredibly hard observation test when I'm moving, here's a stealth roll as well though, 3d10 + 10 ⇒ (6, 6, 9) + 10 = 31 => 6+6+10=22
Fear test 1:5d10 + 15 ⇒ (3, 4, 5, 6, 3) + 15 = 36 => 3+4+5+6+15=33
Fear test 2:5d10 + 15 ⇒ (4, 5, 2, 8, 3) + 15 = 37 => 2+3+4+5+15=29

Kyra, Cythery, incoming Shantanks!

OK, I'm a lil' confused at combat... What I want to do is move within range of my poison needles to the Shabus Morgo and attempt to paralyse it. but it's telling me my range is 25/60/170?? with 'Shots 2'. And do I use my Marksman skill? Sorry to be a pain.


That is your short, medium and long ranges indicate in yards. I got confused about that as well. So if I have it down you can fire your pods at a minimum of 15 yards and up to 170 yards.

As for marksman ability or not I am not sure.


Male Nazzadi Sergeant Major

Hissing silently at the appearance of the Shabus Morgo, 'We've got a Shabus Morgo out by the warehouse, i'm going to carry on through to the warehouse, there are dhoanoids holed up in there. I'm not going to be much good out here against these monsters, take care, I'll probably be out of range for further communication.'

With a thought he vanishes without even so much as a puff of smoke, still keeping to the shadows as best he can he makes for the warehouse, his priority to take out the dhoanoids. muust killll themm... his inner voice eggs him on, the urges to take their lives stronger then he thought possible.


Eritrea team:
Damage to Valkyrie: 5d10 ⇒ (1, 4, 8, 5, 1) = 19

As the rocket snakes towards Valkyrie, you watch as the engel sacrifices itself to get off a pair of perfect shots at something on the roof. Looking to confirm, you all verify a third heat signature just as Valk's plasma cannon spreads that heat signature all over the roof, smearing it to trace heat wipes for a brief moment before it simply disappears, reduced to constituent particles by the engel's massive blaster.

The distinct *BOOOOOOOOOM* of an RPG strike echoes past you as the rocket hammers into Valkyrie, shredding its armor and sending a grunt of pain from Alastair through your commlinks.

END of Round 1:
Flare gun guy:
Dodge 1: 1d10 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Dodge 2: doesn't matter, he's a fine spray, if that.

Other humanoid signatures show up all over; the noise has apparently brought other hybrids out, but also other denizens of the city. Some of the hybrids are dragging pregnant women back into buildings, but a few are behind cover or on roofs, prepping rockets of their own. Scan sweeps reveal no other Dagonite activity, and Czerny confirms the coast remains quiet and enemy movement has not changed, despite the growing chaos in the city; more and more people are coming out, all screaming for you to either help them or kill them or, in many cases, help them by killing them.

"I'm sorry guys, intel said this city was just full of fishermen and nomads, I can't believe the Order went to work this quickly!" says Czerny.

Revised Initiative for Round 2:
Winston - 17
Rocket Launcher Guys - 15
Alastair - 13
Other Hybrids - 12
John - 8

Map is here, note that the Hybrids are on top of the structures, not in them. No structure is more than six or seven stories, the small ones are all three stories.

Begin Round 2, Winston and 'Fix are up, fight!


@Devereux: The Shantaks screech loudly as they fly away, and the Shabus answers, then trundles off after them. Apparently a pair of engels draws a fair bit of attention amongst creatures of the Rapine Storm. Understandable, really.

You make your way silently from shadow to shadow, at one point coming within inches of a police officer who does not see you. A deep part of you that you were unaware existed exults in your invisible passing. The remaining two Shabi growl and grunt and hiss at each other from their position in front of the main, giant, hangar-sized doors on the west side of the warehouse, perhaps catching a hint of your presence, but the horrid giants stay put for now.

For now.

You come quickly to one of the doors, all of which are guarded by two human thugs. Both look pretty strong, and are armed with SM-14s and sidearms whose exact model you can't make out due to the holsters. The door is both locked and bolted. You are under cover of some makeshift structure obviously set up to keep certain supplies dry. In this case it is all iron rods and bogie wheels and axels for train cars.

Here is your map. You'll need to click the "Abeche Warehouse District" link if it isn't already selected.


@Kyra and @Cythery: As you both lift off, you see the Shantaks come roaring in. At the very least, you can keep these beasts busy while Devereux does his thing. As your A-Pods bear you aloft, your engels growling with joy at the anticipation of combat. Beneath you, you spot various ramblers and workers and thugs pointing up at you, then running in horror as the Shantaks come into view, their bat-like wings blotting out the moon and razor-sharp talons glinting in the starlight.

Scan sweep shows you one of the Shabi is approaching as well, though it's not nearly as fast as these two creatures.

I need two DC16 Fear tests from each of you, please; one per Shantak.

Initiative rolls:

Kyra: 9
Cythery: 1d10 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Shanktak 1: 1d10 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Shanktak 2: 1d10 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11

Initiative Order:
Cythery - 16
Shantak 2 - 11
Kyra - 9
Shantak 1 - 8 (PCs first in my games)

Cythery is up, fight!


"We just kicked over a hornet's nest here! Thermal's lighting up like a Christmas tree!" Winston's voice is tense over the Comms as he inches the Ranger backwards for a better firing angle. "AT Team on the roof, 2 o' clock!"

"Winston... I don't tell you how to drive..."

"And I don't tell you how to shoot... Yeah..."

"Zero-Father. Missile team on the roof. South-east. Can you take them?" Without waiting for a response, her hands tighten over the fire controls as she floats the targeting reticule over a pair of hybrids laboriously bringing a shoulder-fired tube to bear.

Reality ripples as seventy tons of war machine suddenly shifts back into full view. There is a moment of icy clarity as the massive Mk XX-Hyperion laser fires, an blinding emerald green shaft lancing across space to join the Ranger and the hybrids, if only but for the briefest of moments as flesh explodes into dust and metal sublimates in the hellish wake of the beam's incandescent passage.

"Gotcha."

------------------------------

Combat Round Action Declaration: Single Action

Firing from Stealth at Hybrid Weapons Team (AY/10)

Marksman + Perception - 3 (Smaller Target Size Penalty: Large vs Tiny)
3d10 ⇒ (3, 6, 10) = 19
Keep 10. Total 10 + 8 - 3 = 15

Target disallowed dodge roll due to attacker firing from stealth.

@ DM Downrightamazed: I took the liberty of assuming that the hybrid's base stats are less than a 15. If the hybrid has greater than 15 agility, I'm going to be absolutely terrified. Please burn...


fear]3d10 ⇒ (3, 1, 3) = 71d10 ⇒ 71d10 ⇒ 8 8+ 7+ 7=22 two drama points for fear test 1...jeez don't want my first fight to go down with me gibbering insanely or anything.
3d10 ⇒ (6, 3, 5) = 14 5+ 6+ 7=18


fear 3d10 ⇒ (8, 9, 9) = 26 9+ 9+ 7=25 3d10 ⇒ (5, 9, 8) = 22 8+ 9+ 7=24

Cythery quickly adjusts Artemy sight and releases a burst of missile fire sending five missiles screaming towards the Shantaks.

attack:3d10 ⇒ (4, 9, 5) = 187 + 3 - 1 = 9 18


Male Nazzadi Sergeant Major

Do I see any windows on the upper level of the warehouse open, if so I climb the wall to them, otherwise I head to the roof looking for skylights or air vents.


Alastair grunted as he felt the blow shred part of his side. But he wasn't afraid of pain, no, he welcomed it as he took aim at the new targets. As his radar continued to is foes among the victimized nomands he replied to Czerny in a confident albeit cold tone. {What can we do for those they impregnated? Choose your words carefully Overwatch.} The next words would decide his next course of action.


feh... phone died... Here is the Armor Rolls~ 4d10 ⇒ (2, 3, 3, 5) = 13 19 - 13 = 6 total taken~ :) I did okay there at least ^^;;


Eritrea Team: As Alastair and Valkyrie soak up damage from rocket fire, Winston maneuvers the Ranger and 'Fix rifles off a shot, vaporizing another roof-based rocket team, their weapon melting to slag as their bodies fill the air with blood. The rocket team on the roof targets Valkyrie and fires again!

As all this is happening, the chaos on the ground continues, with pregnant women and dead-eyed men fighting to get near you, though what they hope to accomplish by throwing themselves at you is a bit grim to contemplate.

Colonel Sobucek's voice comes over your comms; "Nyx says ignore all the citizens, Zero Leader. Repeat: DO NOT aid the citizens. That is a direct order. Guys, in the meantime I'm working on an escape route. The population is scattered around the city, but now that they're moving we can see the concentration points. I'm going to get you out of there, but you're gonna have to move when I say. Stand by..."

Round 2, Initiative 15 - Rocket team at Q-26
Declare one action:
firing at Alastair, using 2 Drama Points again: 4d10 ⇒ (3, 2, 7, 3) = 15 7 + 7 = 14

Initiative Reminder:
Winston - 17
Rocket Launcher Guys - 15
Alastair - 13
Other Hybrids - 12
John - 8

Map is updated. Alastair is up!


Devereux Atkinson wrote:
Do I see any windows on the upper level of the warehouse open, if so I climb the wall to them, otherwise I head to the roof looking for skylights or air vents.

The warehouse basically looks like this one here except with a few window on the side. So while there are indeed windows, they are two stories up. How would you like to proceed?


Male Nazzadi Sergeant Major

Devereux quickly works through his options, and decides to try infiltrate the building from one of the upper level windows.

He moves from his position to a spot against the wall about 25 Yards away from the thugs and starts to scale the wall, heading for the nearest window. Upon reaching it, he looks inside for signs of life, and then tries to open it.

Tagers have microhooks on their hands and feet, I can climb any surface.


@Cythery and @Kyra: The Shantak twists and spins, trying to outmaneuver the salvo of rockets sent forth by Artemy, but in the end it cannot get around the munitions and briefly disappears from sight in a towering explosion. What few bystanders were still below all run for their lives as flaming debris and horrid, stinking flesh fall to the ground. The Shantak lets loose an ear-splitting scream of pain and dives in at Artemy, attempting to rend the engel open with its talons and spear Cythery.

Shantak 2 dodge: 3d10 ⇒ (9, 1, 5) = 15
Drama Point: 1d10 ⇒ 8
Drama Point: 1d10 ⇒ 4
hahaa, what a waste of drama points!
Dodge = 17 (fail)
Armor = 2d10 ⇒ (10, 9) = 19

Cythery's Damage: 10d10 ⇒ (2, 3, 2, 10, 6, 8, 7, 4, 8, 2) = 52 - 19 = 33 damage, Shantak 2 is in Moderate.

Round 1, Initiative 11 - Shantak 2
Declares one action, attack Cythery with talons, two drama points (6 left): 5d10 ⇒ (9, 4, 9, 9, 5) = 36, keep 9s, 27+8=35-3=32 Ooh, this could hurt!

Cythery, I need your dodge roll, please.

Initiative Order:
Cythery - 16
Shantak 2 - 11
Kyra - 9
Shantak 1 - 8

Kyra is up!


dodge:7d10 ⇒ (1, 8, 3, 3, 2, 10, 3) = 3010 = 103d10 ⇒ (7, 8, 8) = 23 well used up 3drama points just to end up with a 20...so 3 extra dice for DRA... 5d10 ⇒ (1, 8, 2, 9, 10) = 30

Cythery cringed as Artemy is slammed into by the Shantak. She can hear the terrible sound of claws on metal as it tears into Artemy's armor and the Engel shrieks in anger as the Shantak manages to damage her armor. "Kyra do us a favor and get this ugly effer off us!!" She yells over her radio.


@Devereux: You quickly clamber up the wall, with the ground-based guards none the wiser. At the top you peer in the window and see that there is a small heap of dead bodies; some cops, some dock workers, a couple white-collar workers. The floor is a treadplate grid through which drips copious amounts of blood from the terrible corpse-pile. Off to your right is an office of some sort, behind a closed door. Inside the small square window set in the top-center of the door you can see a couple walls. Against one is a giant smear of blood. Immediately beneath this window on the inside is just the treadplate grid floor and a few stacks of cardboard boxes and wooden crates.

As you look, something flickers in the shadows.

DC21 Observation:
There is a giant, horrid creature from the beyond lurking in wait; A Gaunt. It is one of the few things that can challenge your kind for command of the shadows. Give me a DC12 Fear test, please.


Altitude - 80ft

4d10 ⇒ (10, 10, 9, 5) = 34 20 + 11 = 31

Valkyrie easily dodged the second rocket, seeming to dance in the air and using his anti-grav to keep his balance as Alastair prepared to retaliate. His voice came across calm and confident as he responded to the Colonel. {Understood Overwatch, we are under heavy RPG fire. Zero-Team continue engaging hostiles, prepare to fall back on Overwatches command.} As he spoke he fired another set of plasma cannon shots, firing one at a different team as he tried to reduce the number of opponents. As the shots rocketed towards their intended targets he slowly glided forward, deeper into enemy territory.

Declare Actions 3[/dice]

[ooc]Plasma Cannon Shot 1 (Q-26) 4d10 ⇒ (4, 4, 4, 1) = 13 12 + 8 = 20 - 4 - 3 = --> 13
Plasma Cannon Shot 2 (AF-24) 4d10 ⇒ (3, 6, 6, 1) = 16 12 + 8 = 20 - 4 - 3 = --> 13

Move to Z-19

Grapplers (AK-19) 4d10 ⇒ (5, 8, 1, 9) = 23 9 + 9 + 8 = 26 - 4 - 3 = --------> 19

Drama points (2/10) for 3rd attack roll 1d10 ⇒ 9

As he hovers overhead one of the hybrids, as it attempted to herd a screaming pregnant woman back into a nearby building, he took aim and fired off one of his grapplers at (AK-19) intent of reeling him in like a fish caught on a hook. He wasn't aiding the civilians, he was removing visible hostiles.

Inside the Control Capsule:

Alastiar was cool, calm, confident and fearless. The attack that had landed only fed his need to engage and destroy. Valkyrie was enjoying the current combat immensely and was urging him onward, despite direct orders to stand down, Alastair couldn't. Not until he inflicted serious damage on the Hybrids and Dagonite influence in the town, so much damage that maybe the inhabitants could reassert dominance.


Male Nazzadi Sergeant Major

Perception:5d10 ⇒ (1, 10, 1, 3, 8) = 23 => 10+10=20

Caaarefulll he thinks as he tries to open the window, if it wont open because it's latched, he breaks a pain as carefully as he can to get to the latch, if that fails, he decides to take a risk and break through the window fully.


"Roger Zero-Leader. Prepping for Stow and Go." He thumbs an overlay, dragging a topographical overlay onto his screen.

"Chelsea, I'm watching the road. Call out hostiles as you see them."

The monotonous hum of the D-Cell engine increases an octave as power flows into the massive laser capacitor, inter-spaced with the thin electrical crackle of individual power cells gorging on the ambient power.

"Overwatch Actual, Zero-Three. We're ready to roll on your orders."

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